Life Will Change

Ludonarrative Dissonance and Procedural Revolution in Persona 5

Despite the revolutionary and rebellious tone of the narrative, many of the game mechanics deliberately deny player agency. While in some cases this can detract from the game argument, it has been suggested that game developers may consciously subvert the narrative with contrasting mechanics to create what is known as “ludonarrative dissonance” (Seraphine, 2016, p. 3) in order “to create complex narratives of trauma and suffering” (Kuznetsova, 2017, p. iii). It has been noted that complicity is a significant part of how a videogame enacts its argument on the player, and that because the player is directly responsible for the events in the game world, “games are well equipped to draw the player in” to the extent that they can even “make [players] feel for characters who may be traumatized” (Smethurst & Craps, 2014, p. 278). In what ways, then, does the dissonance between narrative and ludic elements impact P5’s overall argument? Continue Reading

Video Games: The Future of Documentaries

Technology has changed the world. Every year, devices become more powerful and they will continue to do so, according to Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis (10). This reality has changed the practice of many professions (Frey and Osborne 2) and journalism is not an exception (Bogost et al. 8). The digital era has given journalists more options to reach their goal of telling real-life stories, including multimedia articles, interactive content, and hyperlink texts (Pena 183). Although these developments are mostly positive, they also create hardships. Continue Reading


Games are interesting to us for a few reasons. The first is this idea of Procedural Rhetoric put forth by Ian Bogost. For Bogost, software programs are a unique medium in their procedural rules, a flow of loops and state changes governed by conditional elements. Leveraging this idea for the purposes of employing rhetoric is then “the practice of using processes persuasively.” Our 2014 collaboration with the New York Civil Liberties Union aimed to put this into practice. Continue Reading

Persuasive Games

The Expressive Power of Videogames

Before I begin this review of Ian Bogost’s Persuasive Games (PG), I have to make two points that address the nature of this review. One, I am relatively new to game studies, and PG may very well be the first book of video game scholarship I have read. Two, PG is not altogether new (but I hesitate to say “old”), since it was published in 2007. So, as I am writing this review, I am aware of the delayed context of the review and that some, if not most FPS readers are already familiar with Bogost’s text and Bogost himself. At the same time, not everyone can read all the things, and so this review will hopefully be helpful to those who are considering perusing PG. This review, then, can be a useful but brief return to Bogost’s text for those who have already read PG; it can be an introduction for those unfamiliar with the text and it can perhaps provide a different perspective from a newcomer to the field of game studies. Continue Reading